In a way I get this; Barack Obama is, tragically, commander-in-chief, and the Constitution establishes civilian control of the military, and he's the one that, God help us, makes and sets foreign policy, so no matter how suicidally he grovels before the ChiComms, it is not military commanders' prerogative to dissent publicly from the policy path O has set in a given region and situation. That is what the White House can cite in this equally public rebuke:
The U.S. Navy's top commander in the Pacific is calling for a strong military response to [Red] China's moves in the South China Sea but the Obama administration has silenced him.
According to the Navy Times, Admiral Harry Harris would like to see the U.S. military flex its muscles in the face of [Red] China's construction of artificial islands, the closest of which would be roughly 140 miles from the capital of the Philippines. Barack Obama's National Security [Lia]r Susan Rice, however, has ordered military brass to keep their opinions on the matter to themselves.
The administration is in the process of trying to work with [Red] China on several issues, including trade and nuclear weapons.
"They want to get out of office with a minimum of fuss and a maximum of cooperation with [Red] China," retired Navy captain Jerry Hendrix told Navy Times. [emphases added]
Note that conjunction; "a maximum of cooperation WITH Red China," not "FROM Red China". Meaning (assuming they actually do intend to "get out of office") that The One intends to give away as much of the proverbial store as is left and as he can over the next nine months.
In this case, trade isn't even on the top issue radar. If by nuclear weapons is meant those of North Korea, I can see why they would be, but that is not, after all, a separate issue from Beijing expanding its territory by a third by annexing the South China Sea. Consider what I have long believed about the Red China-North Korea relationship. It's the classic good cop.bad cop routine. Kim Jong Un and his father and grandfather are the belligerent, aggressive, constant saber-rattlers, threatening South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and other U.S. Pacific Rim allies, as well as the U.S. itself, with nuclear attack, while the ChiComms are the calm, reasonable patron for whom it's all they can do to rein in their client. Because we have no good or advantageous military options for neutralizing the NoKo threat, and the ChiComms are right next door, with more than sufficient economic clout to reel Kim in, it seems almost a no-brainer to "work with" them for "peace" and "regional stability".
But consider what that South China Sea annexation has done, and more to the point, where it is: squarely blocking and sitting astride a major shipping lane, particularly for oil from the Middle East. Do you think that wouldn't put the Japanese and South Korean economies in the palm of Beijing's hand the same way that holding two tiny, round green objects holds Kermit The Frog's undivided attention? It's a freedom of the seas issue, and the U.S. has, for over seventy years, been responsible for keeping global sea lanes open.
Admiral Harris, in short, is absolutely right. That "muscle flexing" should have been done several years ago before the ChiComms had ever had a chance to start building and militarizing their "artificial islands" to the point where they have annexed well over a million square miles of maritime territory. But it wasn't, and hasn't been aside from a recent token gesture or two And now it's too late; the South China Sea is now a literal description, Beijing essentially controls the Strait of Malacca "choke point," and there's nothing that Barack Obama is willing to do about it.
But why, you may be asking. His warm affinity for a fellow communist dictatorship is certainly part of it, and his "climate change" obsession on which he thinks he's "collaborating" with President Xi accounts for another significant chunk. But let us look again, in this context, at the Hermit Kingdom and its nuclear saber-rattling again, including very recently of late. The Un-dictator over the past year has proven he has submarine-launched ballistic missile capability, ICBMs, tested (he claimed) a thermonuclear warhead, and launched the latest of his "Earth satellites" into a polar orbit.
And now, after taking a couple of minor naval swipes at Beijing's South China Sea incursion over the past six months, suddenly the White House is gagging its naval commanders entirely about a policy they've created at least the partial impression that they were on board with.
Thus, the question, with the, er, bark on: Are the ChiComms clandestinely imposing nuclear blackmail on us via North Korea to force us to acquiesce to their conquest of the South China Sea and effective, or at least potential, end of freedom of the seas, not to mention the crypto-vassalization of our Pacific Rim allies?
It sounds Tom Clancy-esque, but these are Tom Clancy-esque times, are they not?
Or would be if we were allowed to talk about them.